The resumption of outdoor team sports as well as indoor physical and sports activities carried out individually and in teams requires that guidelines be established in order to protect participants, employees and accompanying persons.
The level of risk associated with practicing a physical or sports activity varies based on the ability to maintain physical distancing during the activity (contact), the practice facility (outdoor or indoor), the equipment required (sharing of equipment), the context (non‑organized, supervised training or competition) and the travel involved (same city, same region, same province, outside Québec).
The ability to maintain the recommended physical distance (between people who do not live under the same roof) varies, depending on the number of participants as well as the length and number of contacts that occur during the activity).
Guidelines for everyone
Follow self-isolation guidelines when applicable
- People who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or who are waiting for test results or have tested positive must follow isolation guidelines. They must not take part in indoor or outdoor sports and leisure activities.
- People who are deemed to be close contacts of a person with COVID-19 must follow the applicable isolation guidelines. They must not take part in indoor or outdoor sports and leisure activities.
- It is important to put up a sign at the entrance of the sports facility indicating that people in isolation are not to enter.
Follow physical distancing rules
- Individuals must stay 2 metres away from each other, regardless of whether they are carrying out activities indoors or outdoors, unless they live under the same roof.
- In practice facilities, markers may be placed on the ground or walls to indicate the distance that must be respected. In addition, a one-way traffic system can be created to ensure that people do not cross paths. Traffic must be smooth and organized in narrow and congested areas such as entrances and exits.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Promote hand hygiene measures by providing the necessary materials (e.g. running water, soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, touchless trash cans, disposable or paper towels, etc.) at strategic locations in the facilities (at the entrance and the exit). Someone at reception could remind people to wash their hands.
- Promote respiratory etiquette:
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using a single-use paper tissue or the crook of your arm, and then wash your hands.
- Immediately throw the used paper tissue into the garbage.
- Use touchless trash cans.
- Avoid touching your mouth or eyes with your hands.
- Put up posters promoting hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing in strategic places in the facility, both inside and outside:
Specific guidelines for managers of indoor facilities
- Managers of sports facilities (school, municipal or private) are responsible for ensuring compliance with the health guidelines issued by the public health authorities. The managers must work in collaboration with the sports organizations, if applicable.
- To ensure that physical distancing guidelines are followed, solid partitions can be installed in certain areas (e.g. reception, in front of the markers) or between the pieces of equipment (e.g. equipment in the gym).
- Changing room access is restricted in order to promote physical distancing between people.
- Access to showers in the changing rooms is permitted, provided physical distancing guidelines are followed and the area is cleaned regularly throughout the day.
- Access to non-essential common areas that lend themselves to gathering is restricted and loitering around the entrance and exit is not allowed.
Maintenance of indoor facilities
- Frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, sinks, etc.) must be cleaned several times a day. The frequency with which changing rooms and washrooms are cleaned and disinfected is increased and adjusted based on the amount of traffic. Click here to learn more.
- Fitness rooms and gyms are disinfected and aired out after each session. The schedule provides time between training sessions or matches for full disinfection when required, depending on the type of physical or sports activity.
- There must be proper ventilation that ensures good air circulation. It is essential that ventilation systems are operating maintained properly in accordance with the regulatory requirements for the type of establishment. It is also important to ensure that air is not blown directly on people.
Specific guidelines for participants, accompanying persons and employees (sports organizations)
- A protocol has been established for dealing with people who develop symptoms while at practice facilities. The people in charge are familiar with this protocol:
- Isolate, in a closed room if indoors, until the departure for home.
- Leave for home as quickly as possible.
- Wear a procedure mask.
- Call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions given.
Equipment and materials
- Given that it is difficult to keep from touching one’s face, particularly in the context of physical and sports activities, it is recommended that shared objects and equipment be disinfected regularly.
- Each participant should use their own equipment as much as possible. If this is not possible, the equipment should be changed regularly during the activity and washed with hot water and soap or an effective disinfectant between activities (e.g. balls)
- If the players bring their own equipment (e.g. a ball), a person designated by the club must disinfect it before the players take the field.
- Some objects, such as cones and hurdles, are not frequently touched by hands during the sports activity. People should be asked to wash their hands after handling them.
- The lending of equipment and team uniforms at the beginning of the season is permitted. Participants are responsible for cleaning them after each training session or match for the rest of the season.
- After the training session or match, clothing is removed and washed with regular laundry detergent.
Procedure for indoor and outdoor physical or sports activities
- Participants are encouraged to arrive ready to engage in the activity and at the appointed time in order to avoid gatherings. They are also encouraged to leave as quickly as possible after the activity ends.
- Before and after the activity, staff and participants must wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or disinfect them.
- Participants’ personal effects are to be kept to a strict minimum (e.g. water bottle and towel) and are not to be left just anywhere. Specific areas may be designated for this purpose.
- The number of participants, accompanying persons and staff members present is limited in order to enable physical distancing to be maintained during the activity, whether indoors or outdoors.
- If staff members cannot maintain physical distancing from the participants (e.g. on the players’ bench, at the bar in gymnastics), they are required to wear a mask and eye protection.
- In order to limit the number of participants in the same space, group activities should be organized to allow subgroups to take turns. The number of participants per subgroup must allow physical distancing to be maintained. As much as possible, these subgroups should be composed of the same participants.
- Non-essential physical contact between participants, staff and accompanying persons (e.g. huddles, handshakes, hugs) is not permitted).
- Spaced blocks of activities (staggered schedules) are planned. These staggered schedules allow enough time for the staff to clean between groups of participants, when required by the physical or sports activity.
- The length of the physical or sports activity can be adjusted based on the effort exerted and the context (e. g. indoors, ventilation).
- If an employee provides first aid, the following recommendations (available in French only) apply.
- Spectators must follow physical distancing rules at all times. At all alert levels, masks or face coverings are mandatory for spectators aged 10 and over, even when seated and respecting the required physical distance.
Team physical or sports activities
- For team activities (e.g. cheerleading, volleyball, dance, basketball), the number of participants must allow for physical distancing. As much as possible, teams should be composed of the same participants.
- Physical distancing rules must be respected during these activities as much as possible. However, participants can come into contact or be in close proximity, if this is done briefly and infrequently (e.g. during a match or choreography). The total amount of time spent in close contact must not exceed 15 minutes per day, per participant. The risk is higher in basketball or soccer, where players who are guarding each other are more exposed. Player position rotation is encouraged.
- Specific adaptations for certain physical or sports activities may be required to limit the amount of prolonged contacts between participants.
- Matches in combat sports are permitted, provided that the following guidelines specific to combat sports are respected:
- Limit the number of training partners by creating small groups.
- Ensure that the groups remain stable.
- Forbid competitions.
- Prioritize exercises that involve direct contact for only a short time.
- Reduce the length of matches.
- Promote strict compliance with the general guidelines, at all times, for all (participants, staff members, family and friends).
- Obtain informed consent from the participants and have them commit to respecting the prevention measures during sports activities as well as in daily life.
- Respect the health guidelines during practice activities as well as in daily life.
Other guidelines for sports organizations
- As much as possible, online payment should be encouraged for registrations. The handling of paper is restricted to the maximum for registration and information-sharing purposes and the use of electronic documents should be preferred.
- Local or nearby activities are encouraged. Travel between regions is permitted, but individuals are asked to ensure that they go straight to the location of the training activity, and to limit any non-essential stops along the way. Once they have arrived at the location, the guidelines issued by the public health authorities must be respected.
- A record must be kept that includes, at minimum, the names of participants, their telephone numbers and the date they participated.
Last update: October 14, 2020